The LEGO Batman Movie Sound Asbjoern Andersen


The LEGO Batman Movie was a huge hit when it premiered across the world this February (it has grossed nearly $250 million worldwide to date) – and in this exclusive A Sound Effect interview, award-winning supervising sound editor and sound designer Wayne Pashley takes you behind the scenes on the sound.

Below, he shares details about how he and his team brought the animated Batman, Batman’s frenemies, and Batman’s wonderful toys to life through sound – and how that signature ‘LEGO quick brick build’ sound was created:


Interview by Jennifer Walden, images courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and Big Bang Sound Design



Video Thumbnail

The Comic-Con trailer for the LEGO Batman Movie


 
Pop culture history (and DC Comics to some degree) has given us a number of Batmans to savor. Depending on your personal taste, you might agree that those early TV series Batmans were a bit cheesy. Michael Keaton’s Batman portrayal was wonderfully salty. And that combining ‘Ben Affleck’ and ‘Batman’ was like combining oatmeal and hot sauce. But there’s one Batman against whom all future Batmans should be gauged. And that benchmark is LEGO Batman (voiced by Will Arnett). He that will only “work in black, and sometimes very very dark grey” deserves the moniker… nay, the title, of ‘Dark Knight.’

Award-winning supervising sound editor/sound designer Wayne Pashley, co-owner of Big Bang Sound Design in Sydney, Australia is one guiding force behind the sound of The LEGO Movie, and now The LEGO Batman Movie. Together with supervising dialogue editor Rick Lisle and supervising sound effects editor Fabian Sanjurjo, they built the sound of the LEGO universe brick by brick.

Here, Pashley shares details about how he and his team brought the animated Batman, Batman’s frenemies, and Batman’s wonderful toys to life through sound in The LEGO Batman Movie. Also, how they made that signature ‘LEGO quick brick build’ sound that can be heard across the spectrum of LEGO branded films, TV projects, and video games.


The LEGO Batman Sound Team

From left: Fabian Sanjurjo, Wayne Pashley and Rick Lisle from The LEGO Batman Movie sound team


 

How did you get involved with the film?

Wayne Pashley (WP): We were approached to work on The LEGO Batman Movie, because of our existing relationship with Warner Bros., having completed The LEGO Movie in 2014. We had worked with Chris McKay, Christopher Miller, Phil Lord and Dan Lin on that previous film, and this was a natural progression. We have also had a longstanding relationship with Animal Logic, the animation studio responsible for producing the amazing visuals.
 

Where did you do the sound editing on the film?

WP: Primarily the sound design was completed at Big Bang Sound Design’s studio in Sydney. I divided my time between Sydney and LA, as the mix was completed at Warner Bros Sound. During that period we also had additional sound editing happening on site at Warner Bros.
 

Video Thumbnail

The Extended TV Spot for The LEGO Batman Movie


 

Who were the members of your sound design team, and what sounds did they handle?

WP: The sound design team was made up of around 15 highly talented crew. Apart from myself as supervising sound editor/designer, I had a fantastic dialogue team headed up by supervising dialogue editor Rick Lisle, and an incredible effects team under supervising sound effects editor Fabian Sanjurjo.

I find that the best way to handle complex films like this is to assign each editor a character, or set of characters, and have them responsible for all the sounds associated with that character

I find that the best way to handle complex films like this is to assign each editor a character, or set of characters, and have them responsible for all the sounds associated with that character. For example, Fabian was responsible for all sounds associated with Batman himself – so anything that Batman did or used as a prop, fell to Fabian to create the sound for. If Batman throws a bomb, Fabian is responsible for the sound of the ensuing destruction.

We had the incredible talent of John Simpson creating the Foley, and the Oscar winning mixers at Warner Bros. Sound, Michael Semanick, Gregg Landaker, as well as Tim Le Blanc and myself pulling it all together on the sound stage.
 

What were director Chris McKay’s initial concerns for sound?

WP: I wouldn’t really call them concerns, but Chris’s main objective was to differentiate between this film and The LEGO Movie.
 

Video Thumbnail

The trailer for the 2014 The LEGO Movie, which Wayne Pashley was also Supervising Sound Editor on


 

McKay was an editor on The LEGO Movie in 2014. Did he want to stay true to any style choices established on that film, or did he want The LEGO Batman Movie to sound different?

WP: As far as sound was concerned, Chris was determined to stay true to the realistic intent of the film. Rather than keeping the sound in the full plastic concept of LEGO, he wanted to go down the road of emulating more recent Batman movies in the style of, for example, The Dark Knight films. He wanted it to sound like an action adventure film, but incorporating LEGO characters into that real world style.

He wanted it to sound like an action adventure film, but incorporating LEGO characters into that real world style

Everything, down to the footsteps, were actual real world sounds. He was determined to move away from the concepts of The LEGO Movie, and to make this a standalone film. There were some notable exceptions, such as the vocal “pew, pew” sounds of the guns, but even these were backed up with real gun effects underneath. It’s a fine line, when you are playing for comedy.
 

There’s that great ‘quick brick build’ sound for when characters build things, which has also been used in The LEGO Movie, and LEGO games like LEGO Jurassic World, and for TV projects too, like LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace. How did you guys make that sound?

WP: That sound was made by recording real LEGO Duplo bricks, plastic buckets, Tupperware, etc. — all different weights of plastic. We would then cut the Master Builder effects together as a very fast, tight sequence which we then ran through Soundtoys Tremolator plug-in, to make them even faster, and give the sound movement.

It was a device we first used on The Padawan Menace, and has since become a signature sound for the LEGO brand.
 


Popular on A Sound Effect right now - article continues below:

 

Latest releases:  
  • Destruction & Impact Debris – Ambisonic Play Track 110+ sounds included, 17 mins total $75

    Get all sorts of ambisonic debris recordings in this release from Spheric Collection – perfect for earthquakes, landslides, explosions and beyond. Debris is the material you will need for a house and gallery collapsing. From very small stone and dust to large rocks, this collection is a good set of mineral sounds – covering everything from impacts, continuous falling debris, rocks poured from various heights, light and heavy falling debris sounds, a number of falling rock sounds, to rocky explosions and blasts, glass sounds and more. Always immersive all sounds are ambisonic recordings.

    About Ambisonics:
    This is an Ambisonics sound effects library - and by using the free SoundField SurroundZone 2 plugin you can convert the B-format files into your preferred format (stereo, 5.0, 5.1, 6.0, 6.1, 7.0 or 7.1 surround). Note: The library also contains ready-made stereo mixdowns for your convenience.
    Add to cart
  • Drones & Moods Affright Play Track 208 sounds included, 45 mins total $30 $15

    Affright” is a collection of 208 sounds (Wav, 24 Bit / 48 kHz) aimed to induce tension, fear and urgency in horror productions.

    You will find looped percussive elements (clocks, metals, hits, alarms, musical elements and more at 75 bpm), designed rhythmic elements (75 bpm) and fx (atmospheric elements, reverses, noises, risers, drops).

    If you are a musician who wants to define the building blocks of an intense horror track or maybe you are a sound designer who needs to create a musical moment in a scene from a sound design perspective, this library can help you to achieve those things.

    Metals, vinyl noises, voices, ukuleles, flutes, guitars and clocks were used to create this intense pack of 164 loops and 44 Fx.

    Check the main demo!! It was created very quickly using only the sounds of the pack with NO ADDED EFFECTS, only mixing the levels of the sounds and shows you the intensity of what you can create with this library!!

    50 %
    OFF
    Ends 1569707999
    Add to cart
  • Hum, Buzz & Glitches Vintage Film Tech Effects Play Track 206 sounds included, 5 mins total $120 $99

    Vintage Film Tech Effects features Slate claps, Beeps, Bloops, Film leader tone, Static, 2 Pops, digital dropouts, record player noise and much more. We’ve collected these vintage sounds from old Hollywood dailies reels, and film stock. 206 tracks that recreate the sound of the lost art of classic Film, TV and radio production.

    18 %
    OFF
    Ends 1569016799
    Add to cart
  • City Life Transit: Japan Play Track 40 sounds included, 2.75 hrs mins total $30 $15

    Looking for authentic ambient sounds of Japanese transportation? Look no further! Field recordist and composer Ryan Ayers travelled to Japan in April of 2019 and captured this wonderful collection. His journey took him from Osaka to Tokyo to Fukuoka and all points in-between. Travel aboard the trains of the JR, the famous Shinkansen, the Hanyu Ferry and more! Explore the train platforms and station terminals of Osaka. Get lost in the Kansai International Airport. There is a subway noodle shop as well as specialty food markets. Authentic walla and natural activity give this collection the ear candy necessary to be an integral part of great soundscapes.

    This is a purely recorded sound pack. Nothing is synthetic or layered here. What you hear is exactly what was captured on location. We edited and mastered the files to bring out the best parts of the recordings. Most of the recordings have been ready-made into loops for ease of use. As always, we have embedded the files with detailed metadata for easy database searches.

    50 %
    OFF
    Ends 1569967199
    Add to cart
  • Foley Wooden Ship Ambiences Play Track 50 sounds included, 85 mins total $149.99 $99.99

    Ahoy Mateys! Step aboard the finest sailing ship sound effects library in the land.

    Whether you’re working on an exciting Pirates of the Caribbean style video game or a relaxing sea-faring romance, the hours of exceptional background loops and additional cutting edge ship sounds contained within this sound pack will set your project on a course to excellence!

    EXPLORE AN ENTIRE SHIP

    Whether your adventure takes place in the MAIN DECK, CABIN, BELOW DECK, atop the CROWS NEST, in a MEDIEVAL PORT, or on a DISTANT SHIP in the HIGH SEAS we’ve got you covered! Each ambience contains MULTIPLE VARIATIONS, ALL WEATHER CONDITIONS, and MULTIPLE INTENSITIES to cover each and every part of the ship, on the rough and calm seas, this sound effects library is perfect for every situation you need.

    A JOURNEY TO REMEMBER

    Our expert team of sound designers have meticulously crafted each ambience into CONTINUOUS, NON-REPETITIVE, DRAG AND DROP-READY LOOPS that will serve as perfect background audio for your game, film, animation, live event, or even as relaxing background audio! We have even included FULL and SIMPLIFIED MIXES, ISOLATED WEATHER, OCEAN and WOOD CRACKING versions, SHORT and LONG non-repetitive variants, and numerous other options for your convenience!

    TREASURE APLENTY

    With FREE UPDATES, FOREVER! and FREE BONUS AMBIENCES: MEDIEVAL PORT and isolated, SEA, SAILS and FLAG FLAPPING, Ship’s BELL RINGING, WEATHER and WOOD CRACKING SOUNDS, all supplied in industry standard Hi-Rez WAV and Hi-Quality MP3 formats, there’s no better time to set sail on the high seas with this ONE OF A KIND sound pack!

    So what are you waiting for? Take command of this UNIQUE library and begin your journey on the high seas today!

    KEY FEATURES:

    • Huge variety of Old Wooden Ship Interior and Exterior Ambiences, All Weather Conditions and Additional Useful BONUS Sound Effects for every scene or situation.
    • Multiple variants and intensities for your convenience and additional edit options (lengths, looping versions, stingers, etc.).
    • Ready to use – requires no editing, labelling or splicing. Categorized, organized and individually labeled files for maximum use efficiency
    • All files are included in Hi-Rez WAV, High-Quality WAV and High-Quality MP3 formats
    • FREE Updates to higher versions, FOREVER!

     

    33 %
    OFF
    Ends 1568757599
    Add to cart

Need specific sound effects? Try a search below:
 

The sound you hear in films isn’t necessarily created from its real world counterpart. But, you recorded actual LEGOs for these films? How did you use those recordings to make the sound of the LEGO universe on-screen?

WP: When we were doing the track for The LEGO Movie, we really did spend a lot of time recording LEGO, Duplo and other plastic sounds of varying weights. It’s interesting as you are trying to create the authenticity and very specific sound of the LEGO plastic, but of course on a whole different scale, as you are in the LEGO world, and at mini figure size.

If you’re seeing the building of the Batwing for example, you’re hearing real metal plate clanging on metal, but backed up with LEGO sound

On The LEGO Batman Movie, because of Chris’s concept for actuality, we had more scope to use real sound effects. He wanted the characters to be based in reality. In scenes like the Master Builder sequences, we would use a heap of LEGO sounds combined with real sounds. If you’re seeing the building of the Batwing for example, you’re hearing real metal plate clanging on metal, but backed up with LEGO sound. Or, an explosion would be a real explosion, with real and LEGO debris.
The batwing sound

Batman is known for his ‘wonderful toys.’ What were some of your favorite Batman-related sounds for this film and how were they designed?

WP: I would have to say my favorite toy is the Batwing itself. Its signature sound was built from a variety of jet engines, mixed with high speed Formula 1 cars. The interior was also a lot of fun as it was a super high tech environment, and we got to play with a lot of electronic and cockpit sounds.

We also had loads of fun being inside Batman’s cowl, getting to work with the real Siri voice, and how she sounds in his ears.
 

How about villain sounds? There were so many villains! Any villain sounds you’re particularly excited about?

WP: My favorite villain would have to have been Clayface. Who doesn’t like an excuse to play in a mud and clay pit in the name of sound recording!!?

Who doesn’t like an excuse to play in a mud and clay pit in the name of sound recording

We also had a lot of fun recording the sounds for Condiment King – yes, they were all recorded by a bunch of sound effects editors making fart noises with their mouths. Moments like that are secretly why we all got into the business!
 

What audio tools were most helpful when designing sound for LEGO Batman? Can you share specific examples of how you used them?

WP: The sound for the film was created using Avid Pro Tools. Some of the main audio tools we used were Sound Shifter, to get speed for the Bat Mobile, and also Soundtoys, particularly Crystallizer and Tremolator.

Sound Designer Wayne Pashley

Any fun field recordings for The LEGO Batman Movie?

WP: Virtually all the recording of props and LEGO bricks was done in a closed studio environment. They were recorded to Pro Tools using a combination of Neumann KMR81’s, Neumann U87’s, and a variety of contact mics.

Other real world sounds, like vehicles and aircraft, come from our own vast library, which has built up over many years and many films. We manipulated those sounds to suit this film, creating new effects.
 

Did you have a favorite scene to design? Why? How did you create it?

WP: My favorite scene to design was probably the first time you see the Bat Mobile transform into the Bat Wing. It was so important as it was a proof of concept for Chris.

Once we had captured that, we knew we were headed in the right direction for the rest of the film

He could hear that the sounds he had been wanting, as far as having Batman’s arsenal of toys anchored in the real world, were working. Once we had captured that, we knew we were headed in the right direction for the rest of the film.
 

What did the Foley team cover, and what props did they use to create Foley that fit in the LEGO universe?

WP: The Foley on The LEGO Batman Movie was treated pretty much as if all the characters were real people, so a normal foot pass was done, as well as props and cloth. The tricky part was getting the animated figure movement to feel and sound like a normal foot fall. Most of the surfaces were regular concrete or linoleum, with the exception of the walkways and computer floor areas in the Bat Cave which John [Simpson] created from various metal surfaces.

The thing that was used most for any specific plastic effect was the big bucket that held all the LEGO bricks

Very little LEGO plastic was used in the Foley room. In fact the thing that was used most for any specific plastic effect was the big bucket that held all the LEGO bricks! For the Daleks’ movement (those alien-robots from Doctor Who), John used good, old fashioned heavy duty film can boxes. He added a lot of micro detail to the main costumes, such as the Joker’s little watch chain —though we never really see it move, it just adds to his character nicely. Of course Batman has the most kit, so we over play everything he does with it. After all, he is Batman!
 

A big thanks to Wayne Pashley and team for the story behind the sound for The LEGO Batman Movie – and to Jennifer Walden for the interview!

 

 

Please share this:


 


 
 
THE WORLD’S EASIEST WAY TO GET INDEPENDENT SOUND EFFECTS:
 
A Sound Effect gives you easy access to an absolutely huge sound effects catalog from a myriad of independent sound creators, all covered by one license agreement - a few highlights:
 
 
  • In a remote research lab in the north-east of England, scientists have been secretly carrying out experiments on a number of human test subjects. There is no record of what these experiments entailed or who authorized them, but one thing we do know is that something went horrendously wrong and transformed these once-innocent, everyday people into something else entirely… Something inherently evil.

    Herein lies an audio documentation of these wretched beasts as they run amok with only one thing on their minds… To feed and to destroy.

    Zombie contains 205 vocal sounds in the following categories:
    Subject A: 67 raw unprocessed vocal sounds
    Subject B: 89 raw unprocessed vocal sounds
    Subject C: Zombie Brat: 18 raw unprocessed vocal sounds
    Processed: 27 vocal sounds with pitch down and reverb fx
    Layered: 4 layered, looping sequences of Subject A & B
    Add to cart
  • Drones & Moods Atmosfear Play Track 50 sounds included, 31 mins total $10

    Featuring sounds taken from lo-fi instrumental recordings, harsh noise experiments and granular synthesis explorations, Atmosfear is a gritty soundscape collection geared towards the horror genre. With a distinctly unpolished production style to bring a rough edge to your scenario, these sounds can be used to invoke feelings of suspense, dread, tension, fear and doom into your characters and environments.

    What does an industrial scale torture chamber in an abandoned asylum sound like? What about a high-voltage electrical possession? Find the answer to these questions and more with Atmosfear. Enter if you dare.

    Add to cart
  • Human Swordfighter Play Track 479 sounds included $25 $20

    Swordfighter is a robust package with sharp sounding swords, heaps of variations and all the extras you need to make a fight come alive. Build unique sword swings with various hits, swooshes, schings, different fighter vocals and impacts on various surfaces. All up there are 137 sword sounds, 93 surface impact sounds, 15 knife throwing sounds, 48 swooshes and 180 fighter vocals.

    This version includes two sub-folders: one optimised for a film & TV workflow and the other optimised for video games workflow. Plus a few bonus sounds of a charging army.

    20 %
    OFF
    Add to cart
 
Explore the full, unique collection here

Latest sound effects libraries:
 
  • Destruction & Impact Debris – Ambisonic Play Track 110+ sounds included, 17 mins total $75

    Get all sorts of ambisonic debris recordings in this release from Spheric Collection – perfect for earthquakes, landslides, explosions and beyond. Debris is the material you will need for a house and gallery collapsing. From very small stone and dust to large rocks, this collection is a good set of mineral sounds – covering everything from impacts, continuous falling debris, rocks poured from various heights, light and heavy falling debris sounds, a number of falling rock sounds, to rocky explosions and blasts, glass sounds and more. Always immersive all sounds are ambisonic recordings.

    About Ambisonics:
    This is an Ambisonics sound effects library - and by using the free SoundField SurroundZone 2 plugin you can convert the B-format files into your preferred format (stereo, 5.0, 5.1, 6.0, 6.1, 7.0 or 7.1 surround). Note: The library also contains ready-made stereo mixdowns for your convenience.
  • Drones & Moods Affright Play Track 208 sounds included, 45 mins total $30 $15

    Affright” is a collection of 208 sounds (Wav, 24 Bit / 48 kHz) aimed to induce tension, fear and urgency in horror productions.

    You will find looped percussive elements (clocks, metals, hits, alarms, musical elements and more at 75 bpm), designed rhythmic elements (75 bpm) and fx (atmospheric elements, reverses, noises, risers, drops).

    If you are a musician who wants to define the building blocks of an intense horror track or maybe you are a sound designer who needs to create a musical moment in a scene from a sound design perspective, this library can help you to achieve those things.

    Metals, vinyl noises, voices, ukuleles, flutes, guitars and clocks were used to create this intense pack of 164 loops and 44 Fx.

    Check the main demo!! It was created very quickly using only the sounds of the pack with NO ADDED EFFECTS, only mixing the levels of the sounds and shows you the intensity of what you can create with this library!!

    50 %
    OFF
    Ends 1569707999
  • Hum, Buzz & Glitches Vintage Film Tech Effects Play Track 206 sounds included, 5 mins total $120 $99

    Vintage Film Tech Effects features Slate claps, Beeps, Bloops, Film leader tone, Static, 2 Pops, digital dropouts, record player noise and much more. We’ve collected these vintage sounds from old Hollywood dailies reels, and film stock. 206 tracks that recreate the sound of the lost art of classic Film, TV and radio production.

    18 %
    OFF
    Ends 1569016799
  • City Life Transit: Japan Play Track 40 sounds included, 2.75 hrs mins total $30 $15

    Looking for authentic ambient sounds of Japanese transportation? Look no further! Field recordist and composer Ryan Ayers travelled to Japan in April of 2019 and captured this wonderful collection. His journey took him from Osaka to Tokyo to Fukuoka and all points in-between. Travel aboard the trains of the JR, the famous Shinkansen, the Hanyu Ferry and more! Explore the train platforms and station terminals of Osaka. Get lost in the Kansai International Airport. There is a subway noodle shop as well as specialty food markets. Authentic walla and natural activity give this collection the ear candy necessary to be an integral part of great soundscapes.

    This is a purely recorded sound pack. Nothing is synthetic or layered here. What you hear is exactly what was captured on location. We edited and mastered the files to bring out the best parts of the recordings. Most of the recordings have been ready-made into loops for ease of use. As always, we have embedded the files with detailed metadata for easy database searches.

    50 %
    OFF
    Ends 1569967199
  • Foley Wooden Ship Ambiences Play Track 50 sounds included, 85 mins total $149.99 $99.99

    Ahoy Mateys! Step aboard the finest sailing ship sound effects library in the land.

    Whether you’re working on an exciting Pirates of the Caribbean style video game or a relaxing sea-faring romance, the hours of exceptional background loops and additional cutting edge ship sounds contained within this sound pack will set your project on a course to excellence!

    EXPLORE AN ENTIRE SHIP

    Whether your adventure takes place in the MAIN DECK, CABIN, BELOW DECK, atop the CROWS NEST, in a MEDIEVAL PORT, or on a DISTANT SHIP in the HIGH SEAS we’ve got you covered! Each ambience contains MULTIPLE VARIATIONS, ALL WEATHER CONDITIONS, and MULTIPLE INTENSITIES to cover each and every part of the ship, on the rough and calm seas, this sound effects library is perfect for every situation you need.

    A JOURNEY TO REMEMBER

    Our expert team of sound designers have meticulously crafted each ambience into CONTINUOUS, NON-REPETITIVE, DRAG AND DROP-READY LOOPS that will serve as perfect background audio for your game, film, animation, live event, or even as relaxing background audio! We have even included FULL and SIMPLIFIED MIXES, ISOLATED WEATHER, OCEAN and WOOD CRACKING versions, SHORT and LONG non-repetitive variants, and numerous other options for your convenience!

    TREASURE APLENTY

    With FREE UPDATES, FOREVER! and FREE BONUS AMBIENCES: MEDIEVAL PORT and isolated, SEA, SAILS and FLAG FLAPPING, Ship’s BELL RINGING, WEATHER and WOOD CRACKING SOUNDS, all supplied in industry standard Hi-Rez WAV and Hi-Quality MP3 formats, there’s no better time to set sail on the high seas with this ONE OF A KIND sound pack!

    So what are you waiting for? Take command of this UNIQUE library and begin your journey on the high seas today!

    KEY FEATURES:

    • Huge variety of Old Wooden Ship Interior and Exterior Ambiences, All Weather Conditions and Additional Useful BONUS Sound Effects for every scene or situation.
    • Multiple variants and intensities for your convenience and additional edit options (lengths, looping versions, stingers, etc.).
    • Ready to use – requires no editing, labelling or splicing. Categorized, organized and individually labeled files for maximum use efficiency
    • All files are included in Hi-Rez WAV, High-Quality WAV and High-Quality MP3 formats
    • FREE Updates to higher versions, FOREVER!

     

    33 %
    OFF
    Ends 1568757599
 
FOLLOW OR SUBSCRIBE FOR THE LATEST IN FANTASTIC SOUND:
 
                              
 
GET THE MUCH-LOVED A SOUND EFFECT NEWSLETTER:
 
The A Sound Effect newsletter gets you a wealth of exclusive stories and insights
+ free sounds with every issue:
 
Subscribe here for free SFX with every issue

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags are not allowed.